I have a dark secret that nobody knows about. I have a yearning desire to be a hermit. I know it will never happen in real life, but my dreams and imagination can take me anywhere.
It isn’t that I’m completely anti-social, or that I hate people. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly a social butterfly either. I have a lot of friends and family, and I enjoy every moment with them. Small dinner parties and picnics are a breeze for me. Cocktail hours and company parties are dreadful. I despise all that “look who’s wearing what” nonsense, and I’m terrible at polite conversations with click-ish groups of people. I’ve always considered myself a wall flower. I hate large crowds, be it at the mall, a game, or an amusement park. I do love to shop, but I prefer small stores … and I never, ever shop the week before school starts, the week before Christmas, or on black Friday. Large crowds of people distress me. A day at home, alone, is heavenly. Soft chimes whispering in the breeze, no deadlines lurking above me, and no people to please. Just me and my shadow.
While others dream of bustling vacation spots like Disney World, or crowded beaches with boardwalks, I’m yearning for a quiet trip to a country lane, or a solemn walk in the woods. Isolated spots with cool breezes and rippling brooks beckon me. The peaceful, quiet solitude is truly heaven on earth.
I love to watch movies, and read books and articles about people who live off the land. Some of those people were the pioneers of our country, journeying across the wilderness in search of a new life. They were self-sufficient. They foraged for food, and made do with what they had. I remember reading a story as a child about a pioneer family who saved thread from the hem of a worn dress, and re-used it later to mend something else. At the time, I thought that was such a good idea. I wondered why, in these times, we are so wasteful instead of being resourceful.
The movies about hermits, or mountain men, are always interesting. The character is usually portrayed as a straggly looking man, toting a shotgun, with a still nearby. Of course, the companion dog follows him everywhere. That’s not exactly what I’m searching for, but I always find myself relating to this character. What a peaceful life it must be. A shelter tucked away in the mountains, fresh berries for breakfast, and birds chirping all day long. For appearance sake, he is independent, strong, and ingenious. Not a care in the world. Never is it mentioned that winter sets in, there’s no food to be found, and the bathroom facilities are non-existent. Maybe it’s not so perfect, after all.
Since I was not born in the right century, the pioneer life style will always remain a fantasy. The mountain man scenario is out of the question, too. Although it appears to be a serene existence, my sense of realism tells me otherwise. Living off the land is not for me.
Being a modern day hermit just might be the answer for me. I’d love to have a charming cabin nested into a tranquil location. In this day and age, ordering supplies via the Internet would be a breeze. No need to forage for food, or look for a clean water supply. Each day would bring a cool breeze, and wild life would scamper near by. Of course, there would be a gurgling stream and a gorgeous view. No neighbors yelling out their windows, no traffic to contend with, and no shoppers bumping into me.
Perhaps I should change my dream from hermit to recluse. For some reason, the word “hermit” has a more negative connotation. A recluse is simply someone who prefers to be alone.
I don’t see myself living off the land in the mountains, but I do have a desire to live in solitude. I am at peace when I’m alone.